The Western Gaze: Modern Art and Cultural Diplomacy in 1950s and 1960s Taiwan

Written by Man-hua Chen. Taiwanese modern art burgeoned in the Japanese colonial period. After World War II, along with the change in regime in Taiwan, participation in international art exhibitions as a country became an essential cultural and diplomatic means adopted by the ROC government. The original motive behind this initiative was purely political; nevertheless, it has been a key driver for promoting the development of modern art in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Decision to Introduce a Third Gender: A Step Forward or a Step Backwards for Gender Equality? 

Written Caterina Di Via. In 2018, the Gender Equality Committee, a branch of the Taiwanese government, announced that there would be a third gender option for identification alongside the planned new electronic identity documents (such as eID cards, passports and other national identification documents) in late 2020. While males and females are categorised as ‘1’ and ‘2,’ the third gender option would be represented by the number ‘7’.

Why Is the Revitalisation of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy So Pressing?

Written by Huynh Tam Sang. Adopted by President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, the New Southbound Policy (NSP) has helped fortify Taiwan’s international standing and promoted the spirit of “Taiwan helps Asia, and Asia helps Taiwan.” In recent years, the NSP has facilitated Taiwan’s participation in the Indo-Pacific society. At the same time, they ensure that Taiwan could get on board with other regional and middle powers, like China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia, which have been forging their ties with Southeast Asian countries. 

Becoming an Anti-Communist Stronghold: The KMT’s ‘Strategic Transition’ and Emergence of the ROC in Taiwan with Imperial Japanese Assistance, 1945-1952

Written by Ko-Hang Liao. The joint statement between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on April 16, 2021, once again caught everybody’s attention on serious concerns of the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait upon the continuing escalation of challenges from China on possibly changing the status quo by force or coercion. This was the first time that Taiwan was mentioned in a US-Japan leaders statement since 1969. Although the situation seems to be frequently changing, it is essential to understand the current tension historically. Indeed, studying the early Cold War period can reveal much about what is happening and how Taiwan has come to the recent position.

Taiwan with a Side of New Public Diplomacy

Written by Martin Mandl. At about the same time as Bubble Tea made its first appearance in Vienna, President Ma Ying-jeou proclaimed “taking Taiwan’s food to the world a policy priority”. What followed was an economic stimulus plan, sometimes referred to by commentators as “All in Good Taste – Savour the Flavours of Taiwan”.

China and Taiwan: The ‘One-China’ Policy and the Controversy of ‘Vaccine Diplomacy’

Written by Daouda Cissé. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, China has exerted its influence at home and abroad through providing personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, medical equipment and so on. Due to its capacity to manufacture such equipment based on its past experience to survive other pandemics, it seems that China was a bit more prepared than other countries to face the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gastrodiplomacy in Contemporary International Relations of Asia and Its Relationship to Everyday Nationalism: A Reflection on the Gastronomic Campaigns of Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea

Written by Fatimaah J Menefee. Culinary diplomacy, food diplomacy, gastronationalism, and gastrodiplomacy are applied liberally to describe food and diplomacy in contemporary international relations. Culinary Arts as a medium in diplomacy dates to the genesis of humankind. Consider Peaches of Immortality, protected by the Queen Mother in Ancient China, that served as a reward to all faithful mortals and immortals.

Taiwan’s Non-Traditional Diplomacy During the Pandemic: The Case of Mexico

Written by Fabricio A. Fonseca. In the spring of 2020, the social media accounts of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Mexico City began to share posts made by Mexican federal legislators. In these posts, they showed appreciation for the donations made by Taiwan’s representatives in the country under the difficult circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, those donations consisted of food baskets and eventually included thousands of face masks. The different images of people across Mexico receiving boxes with the slogan “Taiwan Can Help” (TCH) made me think about how authorities on the island were using different instruments associated with non-traditional diplomacy.

Xi Jinping’s 2.0 version of the “Letter to Compatriots in Taiwan”

Written by Simona A. Grano & Helena Y.W. Wu. On January 2, 2019, Xi Jinping held a speech to commemorate the famous “Letter to Compatriots in Taiwan” of 1979. In this letter, he defined unification across the Taiwan Strait as “the great trend of history.” He also warned that attempts to facilitate Taiwan’s independence would be met by force. Not only this, but he also called for “unification under the ‘one country, two systems’ formula.”

Taiwan’s Green Diplomacy and the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis: The Legacy of Penny Kemp’s Taiwan Visit

Written by Dafydd Fell. Twenty-five years ago, Taiwan was amid the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis and its first direct presidential campaign. It was not only the closest China and Taiwan had come to military conflict since the late 1950s but also the moment that Taiwan was first internationally recognised as a full democracy. At this crucial moment in Taiwan’s modern history, the Green Party of England and Wales issued a press release with the headline ‘Penny Helps Taiwan Greens Win Seat.’

Cross-Strait Politics and the International Spectre of Climate Change in Taiwan

Written by Brian Hioe. Taiwan’s international climate conference participation has been subject to the same dynamics applicable to other international organisations. However, Taiwan has often been pushed out because of Chinese pressure. Namely, when the Ma administration held power, Taiwan could participate as an observer in climate change summits that it was later excluded from when the Tsai administration took office.

As Sea Levels Rise and Chinese Pressure Mounts, Taiwan Must Extend NSP to the South-Pacific

Written by Ma’ili Yee. A year after losing two of its Pacific Island allies, Taiwan continues to feel the mounting pressure of Chinese influence in the South-Pacific ocean. Within recent years, China has pointedly increased its presence in the Pacific through financial aid, commercial trade, and high-level diplomatic engagement. The four Pacific states of Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau now compose nearly a third of the remaining countries that officially recognize the ROC. Despite their small geographic and economic size, Taiwan would be wise to recognize these Pacific island nations’ immense political weight and properly address their top concerns—sustainable development and climate change—through concerted foreign policy.

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